Posted by Chuck on December 3, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on December 3rd, 2017 | by Chuck


Let’s Review All our Credit Card Airline Credits before Year’s End [CSR, Altitude, Prestige, etc.]

I’m reposting this again because I know some of you still won’t have used all your credits. Don’t delay, do it now before it’s too late. This is your final reminder!

As we’re headed toward year’s end, it’s worth reviewing the annual airline/travel credits on our credit cards. This is to ensure we’ve used them and to strategically plan any credit card applications to time well with the airline credits schedule.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes with a $300 travel credit (see what counts here). This used to be based on the calendar year. They’ve since revised that for new cardholders and offer one $300 credit per cardmember year.

If you’re applying for a new CSR card, there’s no special reason to apply before year’s end. Whenever you apply, you’ll get just one travel credit during the first year. (Maybe you can squeeze a second credit in right after the year renews and then cancel or downgrade the card to save the second annual fee.) The CSR bonus is now  at 50,000 points and seems to be holding steady.

If you are an existing CSR cardholders, depending when you applied you might be on a calendar year schedule or you could be on a cardmember year schedule. If you applied since May 21, it goes with the cardmember year, so year-end isn’t anything remarkable. If you applied before then, you’re still in the calendar year schedule. Be sure you’ve already used up your 2017 credit, and remember that you’ll soon be able to begin using 2018’s credit. Remember that the calendar year for this purpose is calculated when your December statement closes which could be as early as December 1. After that date, you won’t be able to get your 2017 credit and you will be able to start using your 2018 credit. Also give a few days leeway for the charge to go from pending to settled.

Chase Ritz-Carlton

The Chase Ritz-Carlton card offers up to $300 reimbursements for airline incidental charges (see what counts here). Chase ccounts the benefit based on the calendar year, not cardmember year, and it goes based on the actual calendar year, not based on your statements. Use up the credits before December 31 and begin using 2018s credit on January 1.

Citi Prestige

The Citi Prestige card comes with a $250 airline credit (see what counts here). Citi calculates the year based on the statement closing date of the December statement. Be sure to give a few days leeway for the charges to go from pending to settled.

If you have a Prestige card, use up the credit now, there’s only a few weeks remaining until your December statement will close and you’ll lose any unused part of the credit. If you want to apply for the card now, you’ll need to do it soon to get in on 2017’s credit. Note, there isn’t any signup bonus currently on the card.

Amex Platinum and PRG

Amex Platinum personal, Platinum business, and Premier Rewards Gold cards have an airline incidental credit each year, $200 for the Platinum cards and $100 for PRG (see what counts here). With these cards, the airline credit is based on the calendar year, not on the statement closing. You can put the airline incidental charges anytime until December 31 and have it count toward the current year. It might have to actually post before year’s end, though; give some leeway for that to happen.

If you have these card, be sure to finish up your credits before December 31. If you’re looking to apply, there is still time to do so and get the 2017 credit.

US Bank Altitude

The US Bank Altitude card comes with a $325 annual travel credit. Here the travel credit goes based on the cardmember year, not the calendar year. Until your year is up there’s time to take advantage of your year #1 credit, then starts the next year. A lot of us applied for the card at launch and have until May 2018 to use the first year’s credit. There’s still plenty of time for this one, and there isn’t any reason to apply for the card now, specifically.

Bank of America Premium Rewards

The new Bank of America Premium Rewards card comes with $100 airline incidental credit (see what counts here). This resets based on the calendar year. Presumably that means you have until December 31, but it’s possible they’ll finish the year based on when your December statement closes. (Language is: “You are eligible for a statement credit of up to $100 each calendar year if you make qualifying airline incidental transactions.”)

Finish up your statement credit with this one soon (buying AA gift card is easiest), and start using your new credit on January 1. I’ll buy the gift card right away in the beginning of January in case they close that loophole.

Wells Fargo Propel

The Wells Fargo Propel has a $100 airline incidental credit (see what counts here).This credit goes based on the cardmember year, not the calendar year. Check when you applied and be sure to use it up by your anniversary date.

FBNO Travelite

The FBNO Travelite card comes with a $100 airline incidentals credit (see what counts here). FBNO counts this based on the calendar year. Not sure if they go based on December 31 or based on your December close date. Be sure to use up your credit soon and apply now if you want to get in two credits.

CNB Crystal

The CNB Crystal card offers a $250 annual incidental charges (see what counts here). CNB counts this based on the calendar year. Any spend until December 31 will count as part of the current year, and January 1 begins the next year. Be sure to complete your spend before December 31. Give a few days for the charge to settle before year’s end.


Also check out this useful series we posted at the end of last year:

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Leave a Reply


newest oldest
Notify of

Chose my airline to be United when I first got my Plat card. I have used part of the credit already for in-flight internet, but still have quite a bit left–and of course, the United Gift Registry has been down for months and it’s anyone’s guess when it will be back up. Am I completely SOL for using the rest of my credit before the end of the year? I have no more air travel planned in 2017.

If you call Plat service and tell them to switch to another airline they will probably do it as a complimentary one time change. Just tell them you moved and United no longer has a hub at your local airport.

Thank you!! This worked! It helped that I still had over 75% of my credit left.

Buy a e-gift card?

united doesn’t allow that atm

Thanks for this. I still had $85 and was also locked on United. I used online chat, said I was intending to change it to American in January, but I have upcoming travel, and was there any way possible to change it now. They did without issue. Now I can book an AA award ticket with a $75 close-in booking fee, and hopefully it will be covered!

Will you be adding other cards like the BoA Premium Rewards to this list?

And also Wells Fargo Propel World

That one is by cardmember year, not calendar.

Stupid question but Chase travel portal will trigger the Chase travel credit bonus right?

Got plat upgrade offers for myself and mrs. Will soon be applying for them in early December to take advantage of triple dipping.

Care to share the upgrade link?

Its targeted offer for current PRG card holders. Check your login. Maybe under Amex offers.


Have you had Plat before?

Yes. Closed last year.

I would also consider adding FBNO Travelite

Are you sure expedia works for citi prestige airline credit?

Congratulations J! Get Exciting Benefits When You Upgrade to The Platinum Card

Just received an email allowing me to update my Green card to the Platinum. 60,000 points after $5,000, will go for it. Perfect timing

Citi Prestige seems almost useless to apply for without a signup bonus.

Agreed, but it seems some people are able to get a lot of use out of the 4th night free benefit.

Any suggestions what to use the PRG credit without any travel plans?

Meh, AA is the one airline I won’t be flying in the foreseeable future. But I guess I can find another airline to get a gift card from.

I have a Delta $60 after $300 offer on the card, and AFAICT does not exclude gift cards. Should that stack?

Wonderful post! Any chance of another list showing every common CC with airline credits? Some of which forget which of our cards offer them 😛

Great article. Is there any easy way to see whether you’ve fully(or partially) used the credits for each of the various cards?

The only remaining question for those wanting to “triple-dip” on calendar year based bonuses is WHEN it’s safe to apply.

I believe almost all cards now institute a “up to 30 days from statement cut off that has the annual fee” rule on when you can call and cancel a card and not have to pay an annual fee.

So, applying today, you run the risk of getting the card and possibly having a truncated first statement that closes in November (which would prevent the triple-dip in January 2019 without also paying the fee).

Citibank I know is notorious for random statement dates. I think AmEx and Chase tend to give you a month or even longer.

But it’d still be interesting to have a post on how each issuer determines when the first statement will cut based on approval of card.

With AMEX, statement date is irrelevant- it goes by transaction date (MAYBE Post date, but IME even if post-date is in January you get the pervious year’s credit) being in the calendar year.

So, it’s too early to apply for AMEX, because you only get 30 days now with AMEX to get the full refund. So you’d want to apply, say around Dec. 7 or so. This gives you some time to get the card and use the 2017 credit, then gives you a week in 2019 to make the purchase (this should really be done on 1/1), wait for it to post, wait for the credit to post, then cancel. If you want to be even safer and give yourself more time in 2019 for all those postings, I’d wait to apply until Dec. 15 or so. IME, this still gives enough time for the card to come in the mail and for the credit to be used in 2017; this is what I plan to do.

Do we think we know how CSR credit will work? Can I, say, book $300 in Southwest flights, cancel card and get pro-rated annual fee back (fee hit in October), then cancel Southwest flights and have SW credit?

Yes. You can do that with jetblue as well if you have mosaic status.

Thanks! No jetblue in my city but I’m sure that’s helpful for others.

Can you also add City National Bank Infinite? Thanks

250 incidental (AA egift works great) per AU (Max 4 AU’s), per calendar year! Sweet card!

2017 started for my CSR on 12/18/2016, I am thinking that I will get my 2018 credit on 12/18/2017. I want to cancel the card but am thinking that I will get another $300 on the 18th. If I use the $300 on the 18th receive the credit and then cancel the card within the 30 days of getting charged the fee will I have to pay back the $300 to chase?

Back to Top ↑